of programme |
The general objectives of the Digital Europe Programme shall be to support and
accelerate the digital transformation of the European economy, industry and society, to bring its benefits to citizens, public
administrations and businesses across the Union, and to improve the competitiveness of Europe in the global digital economy
while contributing to bridging the digital divide across the Union and reinforcing the Union’s strategic autonomy, through
holistic, cross-sectoral and cross-border support and a stronger Union contribution.
The Programme shall be implemented
in close coordination with other Union programmes as applicable, and shall aim:
strengthen and promote Europe’s capacities in key digital technology areas through large-scale deployment;
- in the
private sector and in areas of public interest, to widen the diffusion and uptake of Europe’s key digital technologies, promoting
the digital transformation and access to digital technologies.
It will reinforce EU critical digital capacities
by focusing on the key areas of artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, advanced computing, data infrastructure, governance
and processing, the deployment of these technologies and their best use for critical sectors like energy, climate change and
environment, manufacturing, agriculture and health. Thus, the Programme shall have five interrelated specific objectives:
Objective 1 – High Performance Computing
- Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence
- Specific Objective
3 – Cybersecurity and Trust
- Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills
- Specific Objective 5 Deployment
and Best Use of Digital Capacity and Interoperability.
The Digital Europe Programme is strategic in supporting
the digital transformation of the EU industrial ecosystems targeting upskilling to provide a workforce for these advanced
digital technologies. It supports industry, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and public administration in their
digital transformation with a reinforced network of European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH). The Programme will accelerate
the economic recovery and drive the digital transformation of Europe.
Specific Objective 1- High Performance
The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 1 –
High Performance Computing shall pursue the following operational objectives:
- deploy, coordinate at Union level and operate an integrated demand-oriented and application-driven world-class
exascale supercomputing and data infrastructure that shall be easily accessible to public and private users, in particular
SMEs, irrespective of the Member State in which they are located, and easily accessible for research purposes, in accordance
with Regulation (EU) 2018/1488;
- deploy ready to use operational technology resulting from research and innovation
in order to build an integrated Union HPC ecosystem, covering various aspects in the scientific and industrial value chain
segments, including hardware, software, applications, services, interconnections and digital skills, with a high level of
security and data protection;
- deploy and operate post-exascale infrastructure, including integration with quantum
computing technologies and research infrastructures for computing science and encourage the development within the Union of
the hardware and software necessary for such deployment.
Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence
The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence
shall pursue the following operational objectives:
- build up and strengthen core AI capacities and knowledge in the Union, including building up and strengthening quality
data resources and corresponding exchange mechanisms, and libraries of algorithms, while guaranteeing a human-centric and
inclusive approach that respects Union values;
- make the capacities referred to in point
(a) accessible to businesses, especially SMEs and start-ups, as well as civil society, not-for-profit organisations, research
institutions, universities and public administrations, in order to maximise their benefit to the European society and economy;
- reinforce and network AI testing and experimentation facilities in Member States;
- develop and reinforce commercial application and production systems in order to facilitate the integration of technologies
in value chains and the development of innovative business models and to shorten the time required to pass from innovation
to commercial exploitation and foster the uptake of AI-based solutions in areas of public interest and in society.
Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust
The financial contribution from the Union
under Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust shall pursue the following operational objectives:
- support the building-up and procurement of advanced cybersecurity equipment,
tools and data infrastructures, together with Member States, in order to achieve a high common level of cybersecurity at European
level, in full compliance with data protection legislation and fundamental rights, while ensuring the strategic autonomy of
- support the building-up and best use of European knowledge, capacity and skills
related to cybersecurity and the sharing and mainstreaming of best practices;
- ensure a
wide deployment of effective state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions across the European economy, paying special attention
to public authorities and SMEs;
- reinforce capabilities within Member States and private
sector to help them comply with Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council including through measures
supporting the uptake of cybersecurity best practices;
- improve resilience against cyberattacks,
contribute towards increasing risk-awareness and knowledge of cybersecurity processes, support public and private organisations
in achieving basics levels of cybersecurity, for example by deploying end-to-end encryption of data and software updates;
- enhance cooperation between the civil and defence spheres with regard to dual-use projects, services,
competences and applications in cybersecurity, in accordance with a Regulation establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial,
Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres (the ‘Cybersecurity Competence
Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills
The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills shall support the development
of advanced digital skills in areas covered by the Programme in order to contribute to increasing Europe’s talent pool, bridge
the digital divide and foster greater professionalism, especially with regard to high performance and cloud computing, big
data analytics, cybersecurity, distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain), quantum technologies, robotics, AI, while
taking gender balance into account. In order to tackle skills mismatches and to encourage specialisation in digital technologies
and applications, the financial contribution shall pursue the following operational objectives:
- support the design and delivery of high-quality, long-term training and courses,
including blended learning, for students and for the workforce;
- support the design and
delivery of high-quality, short-term training and courses for the workforce, in particular in SMEs and in the public sector;
- support high-quality on-the-job training and work placements for students, including traineeships,
and the workforce, in particular in SMEs and in the public sector.
Specific Objective 5 – Deployment and
Best Use of Digital Capacities and Interoperability
The financial contribution from
the Union under Specific Objective 5 – Deployment and Best Use of Digital Capacities and Interoperability shall pursue the
following operational objectives while bridging the digital divide:
- support the public sector and areas of public interest, such as health and care, education, judiciary,
customs, transport, mobility, energy, environment, cultural and creative sectors, including relevant businesses established
within the Union, to effectively deploy and access state-of-the-art digital technologies, such as HPC, AI and cybersecurity;
- deploy, operate and maintain trans-European interoperable state-of-the-art digital service infrastructures
across the Union, including related services, in complementarity with national and regional actions;
- support the integration and use of trans-European digital service infrastructures and of agreed European digital standards
in the public sector and in areas of public interest to facilitate cost-efficient implementation and interoperability;
- facilitate the development, update and use of solutions and frameworks by public administrations,
businesses and citizens, including of open-source solutions and the re-use of interoperability solutions and frameworks;
- offer the public sector and the Union industry, in particular SMEs, easy access to testing and
piloting of digital technologies and increase the use thereof, including their cross-border use;
- support the uptake by the public sector and the Union industry, in particular SMEs and start-ups, of advanced digital
and related technologies, including in particular HPC, AI, cybersecurity, other leading edge and future technologies, such
as distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain);
- support the design, testing, implementation,
and deployment and maintenance of interoperable digital solutions, including digital government solutions, for public services
at Union level which are delivered through a data-driven reusable solutions platform aiming to foster innovation and establish
common frameworks in order to unleash the full potential of the public administrations’ services for citizens and businesses;
- ensure the continuous capacity at Union level to lead digital development, in addition to observing,
analysing and adapting to fast-evolving digital trends, and share and mainstream best practices;
- support cooperation towards achieving a European ecosystem for trusted data sharing and digital infrastructures using,
inter alia, services and applications based on distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain), including support for interoperability
and standardisation and by fostering the deployment of Union cross-border applications based on security and privacy by design,
while complying with consumer and data protection legislation;
- build up and strengthen
the European Digital Innovation Hubs and their network.
|Description of call |
for the Alliance on industrial data, cloud and edge"
This action is set
to support the operational activities of the European Alliance for Industrial data, Cloud and Edge launched by the European
Commission on 19 July 2021.
The Alliance stems from the European strategy for data from 19 February 2020 and the European
industrial strategy updated on 5 March 2021. Its purpose is to gather relevant stakeholders, including industry, civil society
organisations, Member States representatives and other experts, from across Europe, in view of strengthening Europe’s industrial
capacities in disruptive cloud and edge technologies. The Alliance should help to overcome the current fragmentation of the
European cloud market, and foster the engagement of actors of the cloud and data ecosystem currently acting mainly at local
and national level.
The activities of the Alliance will contribute to deliver on the EU’s digital targets for 2030,
including the establishment of climate-neutral, highly resource and energy-efficient, sustainable data centres; the deployment
of 10,000 climate-neutral highly secure edge nodes across the EU; and raising the percentage of European enterprises using
advanced cloud computing services in Europe to 75%.
The Alliance will focus on fostering the joint development and deployment
of next generation EU native cloud and edge technologies that meet the requirements to process Europe’s sensitive personal
and/or highly sensitive business and public sector data sets, by addressing use cases for all sectors of the economy, as well
as the need of common European Data Spaces. It will also provide expertise on standards and requirements for cloud services
operating in the EU market.
In carrying out its tasks, the Alliance should seek to foster and create synergies with
other relevant EU investment initiatives (e.g. in connected technology areas such as AI, HPC, 5G). The Alliance should be
connected to other regional and global market developments on data and cloud by creating synergies with initiatives, such
The Secretariat should support the work of the members of the Alliance in carrying out the main tasks of
- Leverage investment synergies across EU and Member States for joint development and deployment of
the next generation of European cloud and edge technologies, by helping to streamline all available investment resources,
including EU programmes (Horizon Europe, Digital Europe Programme, Connecting Europe Facility 2 and the European Defence Fund),
national programmes (including funded by NextGeneration EU), as well as private investment instruments (e.g. EIB).
synergies with the deployment of common European data spaces, in close cooperation with the future Data Spaces Support Centre,
and foster solutions that meet the needs of European businesses and public sector dealing with sensitive personal, and highly
sensitive business and public sector data.
- Providing expertise on common standards and requirements in the context
of the preparation of the EU Rulebook as well as the development of common specifications for public procurement of cloud
services, as foreseen in the European strategy for data.
In practice, the
secretariat should provide following support services to the Alliance:
- Assist, advise and help coordinate the work
of the Alliance including the development of work programmes and roadmaps.
- Support the day to day stakeholder-led
operational work of the Alliance
- The Secretariat of the Alliance shall ensure the principles of open access, transparency
and necessity for the activities it is entrusted with.
- Edit the processing, approval and publication of the documents
agreed by the alliance.
- Provide a digital collaborative working space, and administrative support for the organisation
and the follow-up of relevant thematic working groups, in close cooperation with the Chair/Vice-Chairs, in view of delivering
on the Alliance’s milestones;
- Set up and maintain a dedicated service with practical aids for the decision procedures
of the Alliance
- Provide logistical support and handle the practical organisation of meetings, workshops and events
agreed by the Alliance. This includes announcements, registration facilities, draft agendas, reports, notes, minutes, physical
or virtual hosting, meeting rooms, translation, report taking and communications.
- Preparation and organisation of
the annual General Assembly with all members of the Alliance, in close coordination with the European Commission and the Steering
committee of the Alliance;
- Preparation and organisation of the annual Alliance Forum with all members of the Alliance
and interested stakeholders, in close coordination with the European Commission;
- Disseminate the Alliance’s work
communication services to ensure the work of the Alliance is available and known
- Create and maintain an Alliance’s
website and ensuring day-to-day content creation to inform the broader audience about the Alliance’s activities.
and ensure a representative Alliance community by promoting the Alliance towards relevant stakeholders that meet the eligibility
- Provide support and assistance to individual members on the procedures of the Alliance
- Support the
on-boarding new members in the Alliance’s work.
- Shape the work of the Alliance for building and maintaining a strategic
industrial vision on investment technology priorities in cloud and edge technologies
- Coordinate communications with
the European Commission and any other external organization including the Common European Data Spaces on behalf of the Alliance
financial aspects, the IT services, legal services and the human resources.
The Secretariat of the Alliance should
ensure the principles of inclusivity and diversity for the activities it is entrusted with.